Neighbors call for speed bumps after four children hospitalized in hit-and-run
Four children struck by a car that kept going Saturday night in Sangaree had ventured out of their house in search of a Wi-Fi signal to play games, family members said.
To offer tips
Anyone with information about Saturday’s hit and run is asked to call the Highway Patrol at 953-6010 or 953-6032.
State investigators on Monday continued to hunt for the driver of a silver Ford Taurus who raced off after injuring the children, whose blood still stained the street where they fell.
Troopers identified the injured children as Sydney Hopkins, 10; Evan Hopkins, 13; Dorothy Jackson, 14; and Harleigh Eury, 10. Family and friends remained shaken by the incident, but they got a bit of good news Monday when Sydney was released from Medical University Hospital.
The hospital listed the remaining three children in good condition. Tracey Hopkins, the mother of three of the children, said those still in the hospital are in the intensive care unit recovering from a host of broken bones.
Hopkins was at work 11:30 p.m. Saturday when the accident occurred. She said her husband Jim Hopkins was asleep, and thought the children were also in bed.
The children, however, had snuck out of the home on Paddock Way hoping to access a neighbor’s Wi-Fi from their curb.
Then, Tracey Hopkins received a call telling her the unthinkable had happened.
“I pulled up and the road’s blocked and my kids are being transported,” Tracey Hopkins said as she wiped tears from her eyes. “I thought my children were dead.”
A neighbor, Durenda Moss-Vine, said she saw the four children when she pulled into her driveway that night. She went inside her house, and about 10 minutes later heard knocks on her door alerting her to the situation unfolding across the street.
Moss-Vine ran outside to do what she could to help. She comforted Harleigh Eury, holding the young girl’s hand as she lay in the middle of the road. She asked her questions about her favorite colors to distract her from the pain.
The child begged to be moved into the grass where the other three children were, but Moss-Vine said she didn’t move her to avoid further damage.
“She was in a lot of pain, and I just wanted to help her and keep her conscious,” Moss-Vine said. “I was hit by a car, too, when I was her age, but I was on a bike at the time.”
Sydney could not be reached for comment, but she told Live 5 News that she and the other children tried to run when they saw headlights coming, but the car came at them too fast.
“I just want to ask them why they hit us,” Sydney said. “They shouldn’t have done it because a lot of us are hurt and they should’ve just stopped.”
The incident remains under investigation by the state Highway Patrol. Lance Cpl. Bob Beres said there were no new developments to report on Monday.
Moss-Vine and other neighbors have made calls to Berkeley County hoping to get speed bumps placed in the neighborhood, which is off U.S. Highway 17-A east of Summerville, but to no avail.
Neighbors said speeding has been an issue in the neighborhood long before the accident happened. If speed bumps were in place, Moss-Vine said, this could possibly have been avoided.
Information on the number of wrecks and traffic incidents in the neighborhood was not available Monday.
County engineer Frank Carson said it would take some time before speed bumps could be placed because Berkeley County doesn’t have a written policy on their construction.
“Speed bumps on a public road are not something you can do on a short notice. You need to have a policy for where and what circumstances you would have them,” Carson said.
Carson said there are people who are opposed to speed bumps, and their concerns have to be acknowledged, as well.
“There are a number of reasons why you would not want them. Emergency vehicles are slowed when you have speed bumps, and there’s the cost of construction and maintaining them. Drainage can also be affected, and other reasons,” Carson said.
Carson said any type of policy change to determine when and where speed bumps can be constructed would have to come from elected officials.
Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.